Why Hide the Ark of the Covenant, Part 2

Why Hide the Ark of the Covenant, Part 2

(Part 1) As the Ninth of Av approaches, I am reminded of the critical cultural revolution that is necessary for our people to get back to the state of affairs in which the national day of mourning becomes a holiday. The number 40 is one of those frequently recurring biblical motifs, like the numbers 7, … Continue reading

Why Was the Destruction of Shiloh Not Addressed in Samuel?

Why Was the Destruction of Shiloh Not Addressed in Samuel?

The Torah dedicates so much detail to the construction of the sanctuaries because they are the physical manifestations of Israel’s dedication to God’s service. The tragedy of the destruction of the First Temple was that the great riches that had been dedicated to the Temple fell into hands of the heathens. However, the only component of the Tabernacle that fell into enemy hands was the Ark, while the rest of Tabernacle was evacuated from Shiloh and made its way to Nov and Gibeon. The Philistines merely demolished the stone walls that held up the impermanent, tent-like roof of the Shiloh sanctuary and its stone altar, but the original altars of wood, bronze and gold, were saved. Continue reading

The Land of Israel as Part of the Jewish People

The Land of Israel as Part of the Jewish People

The Torah applies halachoth that govern Jewish men to the land of Israel, and the condition of the land of Israel is THE indicator of how well the people of Israel are keeping the covenant. We are supposed to keep the land in our possession so that we can observe the commandments within the land. Selling the land so that it can not keep the essential commandments it is meant to keep is like a Jew selling himself into slavery to a gentile so that he would be compelled to violate the prohibitions of the Torah. It is a shortcut to the ultimate punishment: the land leaving Israelite hands, and the Jews being deprived of keeping the Torah, the vitality of their very existence.  Continue reading